AA picks M&C Saatchi to handle £10m ad task

The Automobile Association has appointed M&C Saatchi to handle its

£10m advertising account with a brief to revolutionise the brand

over the next 12 months.



M&C will be responsible for helping the Centrica-owned company achieve

its ambition of becoming a complete provider of services to

motorists.



The agency will work alongside ehsrealtime and Rapier, which have been

hired to oversee the AA's estimated £30m direct marketing

business, focusing on membership recruitment and building relationships

with customers.



Earlier this month, the AA signed a £4m deal with Inchcape to sell

cars online, its first step into vehicle retailing.



The move is indicative of Centrica's plans to make the AA brand more

relevant to motorists, and will be followed by the launch of a number of

mobile-based services aimed at leveraging the AA's massive information

resources.



The AA's marketing is headed by Clare Salmon, its director, customer and

brand management. Salmon took on the role in October following a

restructure of the marketing functions for the AA and British Gas.



She was previously marketing director for home and road services, and

looks after AA insurance services and driving schools as well as the

breakdown recovery business.



The AA's decision to review agencies brought to an end its seven-year

relationship with HHCL and Partners (Marketing, August 9). The search

was handled by The Haystack Group. TBWA/ London, Ogilvy & Mather and

Lowe Lintas also pitched.



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